I have been a member of Development and Peace since 1984. In 1983, during the summer holidays, I spent six weeks in Peru where I visited missionary friends. It was an incredible experience that showed me the terrible poverty experienced by Peruvians and the magnitude of social injustice. When I returned, the provincial animator for Development and Peace met with me to ask if I would agree to set up a diocesan council, since at that time, Development and Peace was not established in the diocese of Edmundston. After my experience in Peru, I took his request as a challenge. I accepted and started to recruit volunteers with a vocation for social justice. The first meeting of the diocesan council took place a few months later, in February 1984. This year, I'm in my 33rd year of involvement with Development and Peace!
Through the solidarity initiatives that we undertake with each educational campaign and our guests from the Global South at Lent, I have learned a great deal about what life is really like for various communities in the Global South, social injustices in the world, environmental problems, and the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor. My social awareness and commitment have grown over the years. I’m convinced that the gestures of solidarity that we make have a positive impact on the problems we expose.
What does peace mean to you?
For me, peace is first and foremost the absence of war, conflict, and attacks, but that’s not all.
Committing to peace means working for the equality of women and men.
Committing to peace means fighting for human dignity so that every human being is respected, valued, and recognized.
Committing to peace means denouncing physical, psychological, and sexual violence inflicted upon children and women.
Committing to peace means fighting for basic human rights for every person on our planet.
Committing to peace means denouncing the great social injustices that make the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.
Committing to peace means exposing the abuse of power of big multinationals for their exploitation and disrespect of communities the world over.
We will have peace on Earth when every human being is treated with dignity and respect, when everyone receives a fair wage for work, when everyone has enough to eat and access to a decent home, education, and health care.
We will have peace on Earth when the gap between the rich and the poor shrinks.
We will have peace on Earth when women are more involved in peace processes and peacebuilding.